Egypt protests: Five world leaders jump into the fray

Concerned about ending up on the wrong side of history, world leaders have appeared hesitant to vocally support either the Egyptian government or the growing number of protesters in Cairo. Below are the reactions from five regional and world players to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, his government, and the protests.

Turkey's Erdogan stands by the Egyptian people

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the lawmakers and supporters of his party at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, Feb. 1.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan today came out with a strong statement of support for the Egyptian protesters, urging President Hosni Mubarak to take heed of their demands, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"It is our greatest wish to see that both the people and the government act with a similar sense of responsibility and with a dignity that befits the peoples of the region, to shoulder a change that will satisfy all sectors in Egypt, and that will carry the freedoms and democracy to the highest standards," Mr. Erdogan said. "Turkey will continue to remain on the side of the brotherly peoples of Egypt and Tunisia, and to share their sorrow, joy, and hopes."

Erdogan urged Mubarak to give in to many of the protesters demands, but fell short of demanding that he step down, The Wall Street Journal reported.

"I am saying this clearly: You must be the first to take a step for Egypt's peace, security, and stability," Erdogan said, addressing the Egyptian president during a speech in Ankara at the Turkish parliament.

Turkey could benefit from the power vacuum that is developing as the region’s autocracies become increasingly shaky. The Journal reported that "Turkey’s officials are watching Egypt’s political crisis with a mixture of anxiety and relish, worried about economic backlash but poised for more diplomatic influence as Turkey could become a replacement model for the region’s crumbling autocracies."

Indeed, in an op-ed for Newsweek this month, Erdogan declared: "Turkey has been an active player in all the major areas of global politics and we do not intend to surrender this momentum."

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